In My Studio · Party Craft Tutorials

10 festive crafts I’ve made this month

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1. Christmas preparations are in full swing here and what better way to use up leftover felt balls? I went through a foam wreath buying stage several months ago, with plans of making lots of new ones for my shop. I have so many creative ideas running through my head on a daily basis, it’s easy to forget good intentions like this! I recently had a bit of a clear out of my craft space and suddenly remembered what they were for. I’ve made two so far, one Christmas themed one and a pink and purple one. I’m amazed at just how much they transform a space! The crochet christmas decorations were inspired by this months Simply Crochet Magazine (issue 38).

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2. You know how I mentioned above that Christmas preparations are in full swing here? It wouldn’t be Christmas without some festive cake toppers, right? These ones certainly made me smile and undoubtedly add a lot of cheer to your standard Christmas cake.

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3. I recently purchased a set of ‘love’ stamps and some new ink with the intention of making these. They are bound to look gorgeous on Christmas presents and were so easy to make. I bought some blank gift tags and added my own twine for a rustic look. I then used my trusty heart shaped paper cutter to cut out the patterned papers. Once the hearts were in place, I got creative with the hand stamping and voila! If you’re anything like me and are planning on making a lot of homemade gifts this Christmas (including chutney and jam, which are favourite options of mine) these are the perfect labels!

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4. As you may already know, crochet is a huge hobby of mine and definitely takes up a large proportion of my spare time. I couldn’t resist making a festive garland in kitsch Christmas colours. The piece of driftwood used as a photographic prop to drape the garland on, travelled all the way from Sandymouth Beach on a recent weekend away. How special is that? If you’re feeling inspired, head on over to Cherry Heart blog for the ‘twinkler stars’ pattern. I can thoroughly recommend it.

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5. I couldn’t just stop at one set of gift tags, they were far too addictive and enjoyable to make. After sorting through my huge stash of Christmas papers, I came across these. If you’re looking to make your own gift tags, then you must invest in a star paper cutter (and some pretty twine, as there’s always space for twine, right?) The beauty of handmade gift tags is that they can be made to suit your gift wrapping theme perfectly! They also look wonderful sitting under the tree and have a unique touch of handmade.

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6. I went through a phase of making lots of washi tape pegs several months ago and found them so addictive (like most crafts). I still have a HUGE washi tape supply and seem to have accumulated a large amount of these pegs. Gift wrapping has never looked so lovely. They seem to make everything look that extra bit special. They are particularly useful for Christmas parties, especially if you’re having a sweet festive buffet and would like your guests to take home some home baked sweets and treats.

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7. You must be noticing a theme with the gift tags? I just love them (in all colours, shapes and sizes). These scalloped gift tags have a particularly crafty feel to them and I can definitely see my presents looking extra fabulous when it’s Christmas time next month! I like to use matching ribbon or twine to give them that extra special touch. Make sure you have your best fountain pen ready for writing on the reverse side!

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8. Christmas is all about that extra bit of sparkle isn’t it? These glittery heart cake toppers are a favourite of mine, particularly if you’re looking to make a non traditional set of cake toppers for your Christmas cake. I used my heart paper cutter to cut out the shapes (2 hearts of the same size, per cake topper). I then used some double sided selotape on the reverse side of half of the hearts, which held the bamboo skewers in place nicely. To finish off, I took all of the remaining hearts and placed them on top of the skewers, (with the sparkly side facing me) and pressed down to stick in place. This was the end result, of which I’m rather pleased with!

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9. Felt ball garlands are perfect when made this time of year. They look absolutely beautiful draped over a Christmas tree or hanging from a fireplace. I just can’t get enough of making them (in all colours and shapes and sizes!) I wrote a tutorial on how to make your very own here.

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10. Any christmas crafting wouldn’t be complete without a large mug of hot chocolate, right? The cream and marshmellows are such a yummy addition. You should go and make one right this instant, you know you want to!

Party Recipes

How to make the perfect Victoria sponge cake

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Andrew, my husband recently celebrated his birthday and requested his favourite cake. He absolutely adores Victoria sponge cake and so do I for that matter. I’ve made many Victoria sponge cakes over the past few years and I’ve built up a certain technique due to all of that practice! You know what they say about practice making perfect! The last one I made was actually the best one in a long time, so I just had to share the results with you.

If you’re planning an afternoon tea party, yummy dessert table or just wanting to bake for a special someone, then this cake is a very good option. It’s very simple to make using my method and it’s a versatile bake. You can add fresh strawberries to it for extra deliciousness and also add flowers for decoration. You can also pipe some buttercream swirls on the top of the cake if you’re feeling in a decorative mood. You can add different flavours of jam or replace the jam with lemon curd. Why not? For this blog post though, I’ll be giving you my recipe for the classic version.

Ingredients

200g caster sugar

200g softened butter, at room temperature

4 eggs, beaten

200g self raising flour

1 tsp baking powder

2 tbsp milk

For the filling

100g butter, softened

140g icing sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract (optional)

4 tbsp strawberry or raspberry jam

icing sugar, to decorate

Method

  1. Heat the oven to 190C/fan 170C/gas 5. Grease and line two 20 centimetre sandwich tins. Soften the butter and sugar until the mixture is of a creamy, pale consistency. Slowly add the beaten eggs and milk. Sift the flour and baking powder into the mixture. Gently mix until all of the ingredients together until fully combined. If using a mixer, don’t mix for longer than 2 minutes to avoid over mixing.
  2. Divide the mixture between the prepared tins. Smooth the surface with a spatula or the back of a spoon, then bake for 20 minutes until golden and the cake springs back when pressed. Leave the cakes in their tins for 5 minutes, before turning out on a wire rack to cool completely.
  3. To make the filling, beat the butter until smooth and creamy and slowly sift the icing sugar into the mixture. Beat in the vanilla extract if you’re using it. Spread the jam over the bottom layer of the cake using a palette knife. Take a piping back and large star nozzle and pipe stars/shells on top of the jam across the entire bottom layer of the cake, leaving a bit of room around the outside. Carefully place the top layer of the cake on top of this layer. If you don’t have the piping tools, you can use your palette knife to spread the buttercream on the underside of the remaining layer, before sandwiching both layers together. Dust the top of the cake with icing sugar. Your cake will keep in an airtight container for 2 days.

Enjoy and do let me know if you decide to use my recipe. I’d love to hear your thoughts and see your pictures.

DIY Party Crafts · In My Studio · Party Craft Tutorials

Crochet Rose Garland

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Hello all! Do you remember my crochet rose cake toppers blog post which I posted earlier this week? Well, I still have the crocheted rose bug and haven’t stopped making them ever since. Have you experienced that feeling when you’ve crocheted something so many times, you’re able to memorise the pattern? Yes, that! If you’d like to take a peek at the pattern, you can follow the blog link above to the original post. I warn you though, it’s addictive!

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I’m very impressed at how versatile these crocheted roses are. If you’ve visited Paper Doily Party Shop you’ll know that I’ve made my fair share of garlands over recent months. I just love the fact that they can transform any space into something beautiful, particularly when used for a special occasion. I just had to share my recent creation with you. This particular garland was made for a special friend who wanted to brighten up her home. Obviously I couldn’t let it out of my workroom before taking some gorgeous photographs of it. 

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What are your thoughts? Have I inspired you? Garlands are one of my favourite party decorations and I absolutely love making them. I’m definitely planning on making more. Would you be interested in seeing some DIY party garland blog posts? Do let me know if so, as it’ll be very enjoyable task. I hope you all have a wonderful weekend.

Party Craft Tutorials

Crochet Rose Cake Toppers

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Happy Tuesday all! I hope this week has been kind to you so far. As the weather in Somerset has been pretty dismal for the past few days, I decided to cheer myself (and my workroom) up with these beautifully vibrant crochet rose cake toppers. If you’re a regular reader, you may have noticed that I adore these four colours and find any excuse possible to use them in my craft projects.

These roses are adapted from this pattern which I found several weeks ago during one of my late night Pinterest spree’s. (We’ve all been there, right?) Since then I’ve been itching to make some cake toppers out of it. I actually made mine slightly bigger than the pattern suggests. For your reference, it’s a UK pattern, so if you’re based elsewhere, you may need to use this ever so trusty crochet conversion stitch chart to make sense of it. I used Patons Extrafine Merino wool to make the roses and I was suitably impressed. It was beautiful to work with and I think I may have just found my favourite yarn. (I’m so obsessed with yarn, I’m sure there will be another favourite next week!)

Just before finishing each rose I left a long yarn tail which was used for the next part. I took four bamboo sticks (approximately 20 centimetres in length) and carefully weaved them through the back of each rose. I then took a large needle and threaded these in place using the yarn tail mentioned above. The yarn tail was then darned through the back each rose and snipped off. Voila!

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If you’re looking to create a cake centrepiece then these are the perfect option. If you’re a crocheter, they are fairly easy to make, albeit the sewing part being a little fiddly until you get the hang of it.

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They can also be placed into little jars as table centrepieces. This is a perfect idea for weddings or other special events where you’re looking for a touch of handmade.

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Here’s a close up for you. Are you feeling inspired yet? I’d love to see your cake toppers if you decide to make some. You may also like to have a browse through my other tutorials for more cake topper ideas (and a few tasty recipes… you’ve been warned). Happy crafting!

DIY Party Crafts · Party Craft Tutorials

Paper Rosette Cake/Cupcake Topper Tutorial

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Hello all! Before I start this off, I’d just like to say a HUGE thank you to you, my lovely followers for coming back for a read after a fairly long absence on my part. Paper Doily was put on hold over several weeks whilst my lovely husband and I (and our furry animals) moved into our new home. Now we are all settled in, I’m absolutely thrilled to be back in business alongside planning and writing lots of crafty blog posts for you!

I’ve been meaning to work on this paper rosette cake topper tutorial for some time. They were such an enjoyable make and they really cheered up my workspace. If you have a special celebration coming up which calls for a fun, vibrant cake decoration which requires minimal effort but happens to look fabulous, go and make a large mug of tea, find a comfy chair and read on. You’ll be pleasantly suprised how easy and effective these are.

To make these paper rosette cupcake/cake toppers, you’ll need the following materials:

  • Patterned paper (Mine was patterned on both sides, but this isn’t essential)
  • All purpose glue
  • Bamboo skewers
  • Sharp pair of scissors
  • Pencil, ruler and eraser
  • Double sided sticky tape

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Take your chosen paper/s and divide it into 4 straight, equal strips. Once measured, use your scissors to cut them. There isn’t a set length or width to work by, this is entirely dependable on the size of the paper rosettes you are planning on making. Large/wide strips make for a large rosette and smaller strips make for a small rosette. You can experiment with this.

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Fold the strips in half lengthways and cut them in the middle. You should then have 8 pieces of paper to hand.

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Next you’ll need to fold your shapes into concertina’s as shown above, trying to make the folds as even as possible.

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Take your double sided sticky tape and place a strip of it on one end. You will then need to fold each of the concertina’s in half, pressing the double sided sticky tape together as you go.

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Your concertina’s should be looking like this and you should finish with eight. (This was a work in progress shot).

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Once finished, place a strip of double sided sticky tape on each end of your concertina’s. Once you’ve peeled the backing off of the tape, you’ll be able to place each concertina together, attaching them all together in a circle. Once finished, you should have a beautiful paper rosette looking similar to this one below.

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At this point, you can leave the paper rosettes as they are and simply use them as decorations, either on a wreath or as a garland, or to embellish party bags or special gifts. They also make wonderful table decorations. The possibilities really are endless with these beauties!

If you’re making these to decorate a special cake or set of cupcakes, you’ll need to take your bamboo skewers and glue at this point. If you’d like to vary the height of the rosette cake/cupcake toppers, take a sharp pair of scissors and trim the bamboo skewers down to your desired length at this point. If you’re planning on decorating a cake with them, I think they look very effective when they are cut to varying lengths as it allows each one of them to stand out.

Turn the paper rosette over to the reverse side and place some glue in one of the concertina folds. Take your bamboo skewer and place it over the glue. Leave to dry completely.

Voila! Feeling impressed and inspired? I very much hope so. I’d love to see your finished results if you decide to make them! If you’re feeling in the mood for more craft tutorials, you can check out my full collection here. Enjoy!

A polite reminder: This tutorial is for personal use only and should not be reproduced or sold. ©Paper Doily Party Shop

Weddings

Wedding Wednesday: Beautiful Cake Toppers

Happy Wednesday folks!

If you’re a regular reader you hopefully enjoyed last weeks Wedding Wednesday post, completely dedicated to wedding stationery. Due to the fabulous feedback received, I’m pleased to be featuring more inspiring designers in this weeks instalment.

Cake toppers are an essential part of any special wedding celebration and are one of the most important wedding decorations that will be purchased for your big day. I’ve been completely obsessed with beautiful cakes for many years now and I really enjoy browsing through my cake related Pinterest boards on a regular basis. (Unless you have unlimited sweet treats to hand, it’s always best to do this on a full stomach if you’re anything like me!)

  

Thinking back to last year when I was planning my own wedding, I remember sending my cake decorator endless Pinterest links containing lots of amazing wedding cakes. I eventually found an absolutely stunning handmade cake topper to go alongside the beautiful cake, which I wrote all about here. The cake decorator took full inspiration from my cake topper and designed the cake around it. How amazing is that? I absolutely love browsing the web for wedding related decorations, so it only felt right to feature some of the most stunning cake toppers on my blog.

Pictured above, are two amazingly adorable wooden peg cake toppers, handmade by Rose at Blossom Cake Toppers. These cake toppers are hand painted with plenty of love and care and are fully customised to look like the happy couple. This really is something that can be cherished for a very long time and will always bring back memories of your special day. I would be very happy to proudly display these cake toppers on my dresser, showing them off a million times over. Yes, really! When my husband and I got married last year, we didn’t have Felix (our miniature poodle) at the time, but if we did I definitely would have liked to have seen him in hand painted peg form, thats for sure.

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Next on the inspiration list are these wonderful fabric wedding birds, beautifully handmade by Emma at The Cotton Potter. Can you imagine these sitting pretty on top of your special cake? I certainly can. Emma’s birds are all completely handmade and are made to order. Each bird is carefully sewn together from Harris tweed and other pure wool fabrics. Having your birds individually designed means that your cake topper will be completely unique and truly special. How exciting does that sound?

Emma’s attention to detail is beyond words and her photography completely brings her fabulous creations to life. I imagine any wedding photographer would have plenty of fun photographing these, and you’re bound to want to display these for years to come, as you would with Rose’s peg cake toppers above. Please tell me you’re feeling inspired now? If so, you’ll definitely enjoy the rest!

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This marvellous creation above is made by Louise at Pops of Colour. Who doesn’t love confetti? Have you ever thought of having a confetti wedding cake topper? It’s something I would absolutely consider if I could plan my special day all over again. It’s such a fun idea and such a great way to bring lots of bright colour into your decor. Louise offers a choice of colours, meaning you can customise your confetti in accordance with your wedding theme. You can also choose from a range of confetti letters, so if you feel like having a ‘Mr & Mrs’ or ‘Love’ cake topper, it just might be possible! Yay! How awesome?

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You’re noticing a theme here aren’t you? More birds! Why not? These beauties are lovingly handmade by Manmeet at White Rain Designs. These ceramic songbirds can be personalised to match your wedding theme. You can even add your own initials. All of Manmeet’s products are designed and painted by herself using earthenware ceramics and non toxic paints and glazes. I for one adore bright colours and anything personalised, so these would definitely suit me to the ground. How about you?

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Last but certainly not least, are these utterly adorable hand sculpted ‘love mice’ cake toppers, made by Natalia at Heartmade Cottage. Natalia uses polymer clay and offers a selection of finishes. Each item is handcrafted to order, meaning your mouse couple will be one of a kind. I love the sound of that! Don’t you think they are absolutely adorable? Did you let out a little squeal of cuteness? I certainly did.

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I really hope this post has inspired you and given you plenty of wedding cake topper ideas. If you’ve clicked through to Paper Doily Party Shop before, you may have noticed that I absolutely love making cake toppers myself and offer a very colourful selection of them, all lovingly handmade in my home studio in Bath, Somerset. I’ve made cake toppers for many happy couples and it’s such a wonderful feeling to know that my creations have been part of lots of amazing wedding celebrations across the globe. I have no doubt that the wonderful designers featured above have experienced the same feeling.

I hope you’ve enjoyed reading and please let me know if you’d like to be featured on Wedding Wednesday’s, I’d love to hear from you.

Happy wedding planning!